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Monday, October 11, 2010

Bacon and salted caramel slice for the Sydney Food Bloggers' Mad Hatter Spring Picnic

Food bloggers. We like to eat.

A swarm of about 40 Sydney food bloggers converged on Centennial Park over the weekend, a Mat Hatter spring picnic organised by Billy (pictured above) and Karen.

Broccoli and cheese muffins by Minh of Eat, Show and Tell

We feasted on a bounty of good food of course, although the prominence of sweet tooths in the crowd meant that desserts outweighed savouries on a ratio of about 3:1.

Everything was spread out across four picnic rugs, and we mingled and munched for several hours on a spectacular array of dishes.

Thai fishcakes by Anna of No Red Meat

Mini burgers by Fat Belly Club

Lamb and pine nut pies by Gianna and Demos of The Empty Fridge

Blue sangria, also by Gianna and Demos

Cookie Monster cupcakes version 1 by Sook of Nommy Nom Nom

Cookie Monster cupcakes version 2 by Jacq of Penguin Says Feed Me

Cookie Monster cupcakes version 3 by Gemma of The Cheap Glut
[Correction] Eliza of Boomerang Banquet

Sticky rice with kaya by Rosalind of Rasa Rosa

Shortbread tartlets by Fat Belly Club

Blueberry cheesecake by Leila of Tablenosh

Cupcakes with hats by Mrs Shanks of Yaya's Yum Yums

Sydney food bloggers picnic cake by Anna of Diary of a Ladybird

Anna's cake was incredibly detailed, a miniature picnic scene that included watermelon, sandwiches, a hamburger, grapes, macarons and chocolate cake as well as common food blogger equipment, a lap top and an SLR camera.

The cake cutting money shot

The cake itself was chocolate with a salted caramel filling. Stunning inside and out!

Bacon and salted caramel slice

As for me, I made a bacon and salted caramel slice - scroll down for the recipe!

Tammi of Insatiable Munchies with her Lady Gaga hat

Everyone was instructed to wear a hat and there was no shortage of creativity here either.

Demos of The Empty Fridge

Phuoc of Phuoc'n Delicious with her edible hat

The Ninja

bacon caramel slice
Bacon and salted caramel slice

So I have a thing for bacon in desserts, because why restrict this porcine delight to savouries when it tastes so good?

3 rashers bacon
1 tablespoon raw sugar
1 cup plain flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup dessicated coconut
1/2 cup brown sugar
125g butter, melted

2 x 400g tins sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup golden syrup
125g butter, melted
1-2 teaspoons salt

200g dark chocolate
3 teaspoons vegetable oil
1/2 - 1 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
crystal salt flakes to garnish

Bake single layer of bacon sprinkled with sugar at 180C for 20 minutes or until crisp, turning once during cooking. Allow to cool.

Combine flour, cinnamon, coconut, sugar and melted butter and mix until well combined. Press into a lined 20cm x 30cm tin and bake at 180C for 15-20 minutes or until lightly brown.

Make the caramel by placing the condensed milk, golden syrup and butter into a heavy saucepan. Heat on low for about 7 minutes, stirring regularly with a wooden spoon until a caramel forms. Add salt to taste, until the caramel reaches the level of saltiness you prefer.

Pour a thin layer of caramel over the cooked base, and then sprinkle on the cooked bacon, diced into small pieces. Pour the rest of the caramel on top of the bacon, and bake at 180C for 20 minutes or until the caramel looks set on the surface. Place in the fridge to cool (about 2 hours).

Combine the chocolate and vegetable in a small saucepan and stir over low heat until melted and glossy. Remove from heat and add the cayenne pepper to taste. Allow the chocolate to cool to a minute or two and then spread on top of the cool caramel. Let the chocolate sit for about 5 minutes before sprinkling on crystal salt flakes to decorate.

Chill in fridge and then slice into squares.


Congratulations to zhends who has won a $100 dining voucher to Signorelli Gastronomia and to Phuoc'n Delicious who will be attending Tokyo Food Trends - Molecular Cooking & More at Chef's Armoury.

Don't forget to enter the Freebie Friday competitions still open:
(entries close Sunday 24 October 2010)

(entries close Monday 25 October 2010)

(entries close Sunday 31 October 2010)
30 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 10/11/2010 02:40:00 am


  • At 10/11/2010 3:03 am, Anonymous billy @ a table for two said…

    So much food... as I was writing the post, I was thinking to myself, "Did I really eat all this in a mere 2 hours?"

    But I can see myself doing it all over again in a heart beat!

  • At 10/11/2010 8:06 am, Blogger Leila Nelson Gunning said…

    What a fabulous day! So fun to meet so many foodies and eat good food together!

  • At 10/11/2010 9:05 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    What a fun day! Wished I was there. Love to taste your bacon (DID I JUST TYPE BACON?) and salted caramel slice!!

  • At 10/11/2010 9:24 am, Blogger the dainty baker said…

    awww i totally missed out on this!! :(

  • At 10/11/2010 9:26 am, Anonymous Betty @ The Hungry Girl said…

    Oh I tried you bacon & salted caramel slice.... YUm!! So much good food!

  • At 10/11/2010 9:30 am, Anonymous Minh said…

    Bacon <3 love it! I tried your slice and thought oh so sweet, then hit the bacon and it was love all the way

  • At 10/11/2010 9:33 am, Anonymous chocolatesuze said…

    your slice was so freaking awesome! sweet and salty nom nom

  • At 10/11/2010 9:38 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Wow, I actually can't believe I ate all this and more... And I can't take the credit for the cookie monster cupcakes - they were actually made by Eliza from Boomerang Banquet!

  • At 10/11/2010 9:46 am, Anonymous Shaun @ Everybody Loves Ramen said…

    K the bacon caramel slice sounds too interesting to resist trying!

    Sad I had to miss this picnic.
    People don't stop drinking coffee on saturday and work calls. :/

  • At 10/11/2010 10:17 am, Blogger Stephcookie said…

    I didn't get to try everything at the picnic but I definitely remember your slice! It was so well balanced, loved it!

  • At 10/11/2010 11:29 am, Anonymous Hannah said…

    The only time I want/like bacon is in sweets, and then you go and add salt and cayenne? Be still my speed-demon-racing heart!

    P.S. *whispers* Don't tell anyone, but I think the food at the Sydney picnic looks better than what was at the Melbourne picnic... shhhh...

  • At 10/11/2010 11:41 am, Blogger Unknown said…

    That picnic looks glorious! It looked like an awesome day regardless of the not-so-shiny weather - and Phuoc's hat is adorbs! Awesome theme is awesome.

    Excuse me while I lick my screen - so much food, so little time. Thanks for the recipe =]

  • At 10/11/2010 11:58 am, Anonymous Amanda said…

    Wow - this looks like a great idea. I love bacon AND salted caramel so I can sooo see how it would work.

  • At 10/11/2010 12:08 pm, Anonymous Jacq said…

    I loved your bacon caramel slice! Bacon makes everything taste goooood hehe

  • At 10/11/2010 1:10 pm, Anonymous penny aka jeroxie said…

    bacon...... Im the bacon monster!
    And the cookie monsters.... and the Lady Gaga hat - WOW!

  • At 10/11/2010 1:29 pm, Blogger Sara @ Belly Rumbles said…

    Looks like Cookie Monster was the theme of the day, all three versions looked fantastic.

    Bacon and salted caramel slice, awesome!

  • At 10/11/2010 3:49 pm, Anonymous Katie said…

    Wow, so much food! I love the cookie monster cupcakes - delicious!

  • At 10/11/2010 5:21 pm, Blogger fluffy said…

    I tried your bacon and salted caramel slice and they were yummy! It was my first time having bacon with something sweet together and they tasted surprisingly good :) Did you add chilli too?

  • At 10/11/2010 5:55 pm, Anonymous Spottedpufferfish said…

    Wowsers Gadget! So many Cookie Monster cupcakes! YUM!!!!

  • At 10/11/2010 7:45 pm, Blogger Unknown said…

    You rock, that bacon caramel slice made my day. Haven't been able to shut up about it. I love bacon.

  • At 10/11/2010 8:30 pm, Blogger Rita (mademoiselle délicieuse) said…

    Bacon is that magical ingredient which makes everything better. A friend of mine proclaims not to eat pork, but will eat bacon because "it's different"!

  • At 10/11/2010 10:34 pm, Anonymous Anita said…

    Hey Helen, It was so nice to finally meet you after reading your blog for over a year. Your blog rocks!!!!!

  • At 10/11/2010 11:47 pm, Anonymous MissDissent said…

    So why did Cookie Monster pop up so much was it a theme?

    The slice looks yummy, I can't see a reason to confine bacon anywhere!

  • At 10/12/2010 10:21 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Soo much foody goodness and these slices are da bomb!

  • At 10/12/2010 10:51 am, Blogger Brenda said…

    Wow look at all that amazing food!!!
    Was it a coincidence that 3 people made the Cookie Monster cupcakes?

  • At 10/12/2010 11:35 am, Blogger Rosa said…

    I loved... LOVED... the bacon and caramel slice! I wasn't sure what it was initially, but its all coming together now! Mmmmmmmmm!

  • At 10/12/2010 7:49 pm, Anonymous Heidi - Apples Under My Bed said…

    Wow! Bacon caramel slice, amazing! The photos look wonderful. Far better hat effort than the Melbourne picnic :) Loved all the cookie monster cakes, so cute!
    Heidi xo

  • At 10/13/2010 6:56 am, Anonymous Vix said…

    Can't wait to try your bacon and salted caramel slice. I am not much of a sweet tooth, so am intrigued by this take on a classic.

    Love the cookie monster cookies too, is there an inside joke?

  • At 10/14/2010 12:19 am, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Thanks everyone all your comments. Relieved to hear that people enjoyed the bacon and salted caramel slice!

    The picnic was a blast and proof that Sydney food bloggers are a committed, generous and social bunch of people.

    Hi the cheapglut - Thanks for the correction. Oops my bad. Duly corrected!

    Hi Hannah - lol. I think Sydney had a glut of sweets but Melbourne had much nicer weather!

    Hi fluffy - I put chilli powder (cayenne pepper) in the chocolate for a bit of kick. Check the recipe for more details.

    Hi SexyNinjaMonkey - lol. Glad you enjoyed it, and good to finally meet you in person!

    Hi Mademoiselle Delicieuse - lol. I know quite a few people in that same boat!

    Hi Anita - Aww thanks. It was great to meet you too, and your fishcakes were so tasty!

    Hi MissDissent, Brenda and Vix - The theme was hats and blue, hence the proliferation of Cookie Monsters. The organisers had secured prizes for best dishes of the day!

  • At 10/17/2010 10:35 pm, Blogger Unknown said…

    Hi Helen!

    Super dooper meeting you at the picnic! Your bacon and salted caramel slice rocked my socks, which is pretty incredible considering I wasn't wearing any! Porcine delights with sweet food for the win! I told my friend who adores bacon and french toast and she almost died!

    Love the close ups, especially of the amazing fish cakes which I sadly missed.

    Yum yum yum yum :) yes i'm not very good with words in the presence of such deliciousness


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